Remembering Camarillo: A photographic journey

As Camarillo nears the 50th year since it incorporated into a city, we’d like to run a photo history of this fine community. 

Of course we have start with the city’s founder himself. 

Adolf Camarillo

From the Camarillo Ranch Foundation:

“The historic land upon which the Camarillo Ranch now sits was a part of the original Rancho Calleguas, one of the last Mexican land grants (9,998.29 acres). It was given by Governor Alvarado to Jose Pedro Ruiz in 1847. Juan Camarillo (1812-1880) obtained the rancho from the Ruiz family in 1875. Juan was a member of the Hijar-Padres Expedition to California in 1834 and he settled in Ventura in 1857. Following Juan’s death in 1880, Adolfo Camarillo, his oldest son, took over the ranch operations at the age of sixteen. During the next 78 years, Adolfo operated the Camarillo Ranch, changing the operations from mostly cattle to crops. He was a leading innovator bringing in lima beans, plus barley, corn, alfalfa, walnuts, and citrus.



Camarillo Ranch Foundation












Camarillo White Horse

Camarillo was not only a farmer, he was a horse breeder, developing the stunning all white Camarillo horse from the founding statlion named, Sultan.  From Camarillo White Horse Association:

“In 1921, when Sultan was nine or ten years old, Adolfo Camarillo (Founder of the city of Camarillo, California) discovered this “Stallion of a Dream” and purchased him from the Miller and Lux cattle ranch at the Sacramento State Fair.

 Sultan, over the next few years, won many stock championships throughout California.  Adolfo bred Sultan to Morgan mares at the Camarillo Ranch.  Adolfo never sold his land or a white horse: however, on rare occasions, the Camarillo family would make gifts of the prized white horses.”


Camarillo White Horse Association


Camarillo White Horse Foundation










The Breed Today

The Breed Today

Camarillo State Mental Hospital

And of course their was the State Mental Hospital outside of town. It would be the future site of California State University Channel Islands. From Kirsten Anderberg’s Camarillo State Mental Hospital History:

“Camarillo State Hospital was touted as the largest psychiatric hospital this side of the Mississippi when it opened in the mid-1930’s. ‘From a mere 410 patients in 1936, the population grew to 1,082 in 1937; 2,501 in 1940, 4,123 in 1945, 4,960 in 1950, 6,748 on April 8, 1953, 6,865 on June 30, 1955, and in excess of 7,000 patients in 1957.'”

Camarillo State Mental Hospital

Camarillo State Mental Hospital

Some CSUCI students claim the place is haunted by tormented souls.

Some other scenes:

The Bank of A. Levy on Ventura Blvd.

The Bank of A. Levy on Ventura Blvd.


Camarillo Airport, Built in 1942












Looking back

Looking back

Happy 50th Birthday to the City of Camarillo!


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